Red is a favored color in Chinese culture, and as 2014 marks the Year of the Horse on the Chinese astrological calendar, it’s only natural that the Swedish Dalahäst (Dala horse) has made its way to celebrations in China. It has been a busy year in Nusnäs, near Mora in the central province of Dalarna, Sweden, where for more than 90 years hand-carved and painted red Dalahästs have been sold by the legendary Grannas A Olssons Hemslöjd. Once a pagan talisman and later a child's toy, the Dalahäst has become not only a symbol of Dalarna, but of Sweden in general. Every year, the hemslöjd (home craft gallery) sells 50,000 red horses, the most popular color (blue horses and yellow roosters are also big sellers). This year an additional 3,000 handmade red Dala horses have been shipped to China.

For more on how the pagan horse has carved its niche in history, see The Pagan history of Sweden’s dearest symbol

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